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To view this newsletter on the Web, go to www.ccel.org/newsletter/6/10
In This Issue:
From the Director
One of the tasty treats we cooked up for you last summer is a new page for studying Bible passages. We set out to make an attractive, easy-to-use page for viewing a Bible passage on the left and commentary or other resources on the right. Click on a Bible verse to see commentary on that verse--or select other resources such as sermons, meditations, hymns, book references, or additional Bible translations.
Also, don’t miss the control panel (gear icon in upper right) where you can set your preferred Bible translation and other preferences or get a permalink to a page. There’s even a delicious mobile version for your cell phone or tablet with no extra fat or other additives. Why not sample it!Bible study page
What We're ReadingDark Night of the Soul
by St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Dark Night of the Soul is currently listed as the 9th most popular CCEL downloaded book. A sequel and continuation of Ascent of Mount Carmel, the Dark Night of the Soul is a spiritually moving and mystical story. In the book, St. John of the Cross continues his description of the soul's journey--the "dark night"--to the "divine union of the love of God." A poet at heart, St. John describes the journey and the union with beautifully rich and deeply symbolic language. His words offer encouragement and comfort directly to readers as they too struggle with the excruciating dark night. At times, the Dark Night of the Soul can be difficult to read, but its difficulty is surpassed by its ability to offer hope to the downtrodden and discouraged. One of the most profound works of Christian mysticism, this book is highly recommended for those seeking union with God.
-The Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Featured ArticleWhen Pain Forms Us
When we face difficult challenges and events in our life, our faith can be tested. Many trials, however, lead to a stronger relationship with Christ as He walks through these valleys with us. Howard VanderWell examines this issue in his article entitled, “When Pain Forms Us.” After reading this article, we would love to hear your thoughts and comments about this issue by clicking the 'discuss' link at the end of the article.
Read this article at CCEL
Featured HymnI Have Decided to Follow Jesus
“I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” is sung to a traditional folk tune from India (ASSAM), and it is named after the northeastern Indian state once home to tribes known as “head-hunters” due to their custom of collecting heads and hanging them on their walls. In his book Why, God, Why?, Dr. P. Job reports that 150 years ago a Welsh missionary converted a man, his wife, and his children to Christianity. After the village chief demanded that the man renounce his faith, he spontaneously sang the now-famous words, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” Reportedly, the chief ordered his archers to kill the man’s two children, threatening to kill his wife as well; but the man sang, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.” The archers shot his wife, but still the man refused to deny Christ, and he was executed while singing: “The cross before me, the world behind me.” Allegedly, the chief was so moved that he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” and the entire village converted.
Indian Christians still sing this hymn to proclaim their commitment to Christ. In America, it has been popularized by composer and hymn editor William Jensen Reynolds’ arrangement, which first appeared in the 1959 Assembly Songbook. This version was frequently used at Billy Graham’s crusade meetings.
Read more about Hymnary
When traveling through difficult times, it is comforting to know that we are not alone. Spurgeon's No. 221 sermon, delivered September 21, 1856, addresses the role of the Holy Spirit during challenging times. Spurgeon also encourages his congregation to comfort others who are facing struggles in their own lives.
Read this sermon at CCEL
Did You Know?
New Book Discussion Group
A new online group discussing Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God is now available at CCEL discussion groups. We'd love to have you join this group! Contact Ken Verhulst if you have questions.
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